Digital Shipping refers to the use of block chain technology in logistic and supply chain. There are millions of shipping companies in the world. These companies are disconnected which means that there is a possibility that your shipment might be with any one of them and it will be very hard for you to track the shipment at all times since cargo exchanges hands between different companies.
In simple words, digital shipping refers to the ability of companies to have access to the records and in information of a shipment no matter where it originated from. Let us assume, as an example, that an LTL Shipment (less than a full load shipment) originated in Seattle, WA. in route to Miami, FL. The shipment had to be picked up by a third-party trucking company to be delivered to the HUB of a common carrier who in turn ships it on its own trucks to Miami. When the shipment arrives to Miami, it has to be off loaded at the carrier’s hub and loaded on to another truck that will deliver to the final destination which happens to be a residence. If you were the customer, all you need to know is where is the shipment and when will it be delivered. The shipment in this case has been touched by 3 different trucking companies and 3 different warehouses. Most likely, they are not all part of the same network which means that if you want to get the details about the shipment, you might have to call each one individually. That is where digital shipping comes in.
If you work with a 3pl company in Miami, that implements block chain, all of the people that touched the shipments would have to enter a record showing where the shipment is, That record is time stamped and cannot be changed.
Why the move to Digital Shipping?
The obvious reason is having the correct information about the shipment at any time. A shipment originating in China on the way to the USA where the shipment is being handled by 10 different Logistics Companies, would be easily tracked no matter who has custody of the shipment.
Another reason is accuracy of information. The records are entered by the partner who has the cargo, not a third party. Any change is added immediately.
Another reason is time saving. You do not have to be calling different companies to find out where the shipment is. You know every move the cargo makes.
As the capabilities of Block Chain expands, shipping companies become more and more connected and contract adherence will be standard operating procedure.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all “Freight Forwarders are connected at all time”?
International 3PL is working on putting the power of Block chain to work for you.